snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Military

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03 October 2007, 07:31 AM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,644
Icon104 1894 Army Officer's Manual

Comment: I've seen a supposed quote from an 1894 Army Officer's Manual
that says "Enlisted men are stupid, but extremely cunning and sly, and
bear considerable watching."

I am unable to confirm this quote. Is it really true?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03 October 2007, 07:46 AM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,525
United States

This 1978 article from Air University Review mentions the quote as "reported" but gives no references. Other quotes have it as the 1898 US Army Officer's Manual or the 1904 Naval Officer's Manual. ETA -- The quote also appears in the 1978 Department of Defense Appropriations.

Last edited by ganzfeld; 03 October 2007 at 07:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03 October 2007, 01:33 PM
Paveman
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
This 1978 article from Air University Review mentions the quote as "reported" but gives no references. Other quotes have it as the 1898 US Army Officer's Manual or the 1904 Naval Officer's Manual. ETA -- The quote also appears in the 1978 Department of Defense Appropriations.
IIRC this is a quote originally attributed to George Washington and later published in officers manuals. My senior enlisted troops like to quote it to me to get a laugh. I'll find a good cite in a little bit if I'm not beaten to it.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03 October 2007, 04:02 PM
Paveman
 
Posts: n/a
Military

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paveman View Post
IIRC this is a quote originally attributed to George Washington and later published in officers manuals. My senior enlisted troops like to quote it to me to get a laugh. I'll find a good cite in a little bit if I'm not beaten to it.
Hmm. A UL in the making? I found others who belive this is a George Washington Quote but I couldn't find a quality source for this being attributed to G.W. I'll keep looking, but this may end up in the questionable quotes section.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03 October 2007, 08:53 PM
ASL's Avatar
ASL ASL is offline
 
Join Date: 04 July 2003
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 5,441
Default

I've heard a similar roomer about the first edition of the Naval Officer's Guide. So, which was it? US Army, British Army, US Navy?

Sounds like a UL.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04 October 2007, 12:45 AM
Malruhn Malruhn is offline
 
 
Join Date: 28 November 2003
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 7,854
Default

Well, the class advisor to the Coast Guard Academy back in 1990-1994 was telling the cadets that, "enlisted men are back-stabbing bastards and are just setting themselves up to scuttle your career." This is from a direct quote from a cadet that had that Commander (O-5) as his advisor.

As for something similar being ancient (100 years or more), I can't help, but I can say that it is a very old attitude.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04 October 2007, 01:26 AM
Etienne
 
Posts: n/a
Default

The quote brought to memory a simillar one from the (British) Admiralty Manual of Seamanship, Vol II, 1967, but after checking, it's rather different:

(On survival after making land, following a shipwreck)

Natives. If the island is inhabited it will support life. Make friends with the natives and watch what they do and what they eat. Avoid close contact with them, don't sleep in their huts (which are probably bug-infested) and, above all, leave their women alone - they carry their own brand of venereal disease and will possibly have leprosy as well. Keep to your camp site, without being unfriendly, and post a sentry to look after your equipment. Natives will alway be tempted to steal if your equipment is left unguarded.

Emphasis mine. The British Navy, ladies and gentlemen.

Also, even less related, from higher in the page:

"Do not sleep under a coconut tree - a blow from a falling nut can be very painful, and sometime fatal if you are struck on the head"

I guess it's sound advice. /hijack.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 21 October 2007, 08:21 PM
Sebbenth's Avatar
Sebbenth Sebbenth is offline
 
 
Join Date: 09 July 2005
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 1,221
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etienne View Post
The quote brought to memory a simillar one from the (British) Admiralty Manual of Seamanship, Vol II, 1967, but after checking, it's rather different:

(On survival after making land, following a shipwreck)

Natives. If the island is inhabited it will support life. Make friends with the natives and watch what they do and what they eat. Avoid close contact with them, don't sleep in their huts (which are probably bug-infested) and, above all, leave their women alone - they carry their own brand of venereal disease and will possibly have leprosy as well. Keep to your camp site, without being unfriendly, and post a sentry to look after your equipment. Natives will alway be tempted to steal if your equipment is left unguarded.

Emphasis mine. The British Navy, ladies and gentlemen.

Also, even less related, from higher in the page:

"Do not sleep under a coconut tree - a blow from a falling nut can be very painful, and sometime fatal if you are struck on the head"

I guess it's sound advice. /hijack.
I think that although the things as written are definitely nasty, they might have been done so on purpose. It's easier to persuade a bunch of young adults to leave any natives alone by scaring tham with horrid STDs and nasty worms than by the force of pure reason.

"See? The book says that if you try to chase that gal your penis will turn brown and fall of in a matter of weeks. You think you're smarter than this book?"

I'm not saying that most US Navy recruits don't understand reasoning. However, some certainly don't.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.